REPOST: Bajan Sitcom To Hit UK Screens (originally posted 9/5/13)

(taken from today’s issue of The Voice newspaper, the UK’s most popular paper reporting on issues affecting the ‘black’ community of England. Can be viewed on their site at this link

 

A NEW Caribbean sitcom will make history next week, when it becomes the first Bajan series to be shown on UK television.

Keeping Up With The Joneses is a popular series from Barbados and will launch on The Africa Channel next Monday (May 13.)

The sitcom follows the Jones family, who reluctantly become the subjects of a reality show called Life & Times in the Caribbean. It requires that a camera crew follow the family around and film their every move.

Irving, the patriarch of the family, signs the contract to do the show against his wife Angela’s wishes. Now, the couple and their two children – 17-year-old daughter Tracy and 10-year-old son Nathan – have to co-exist, while looking good for the cameras, which results in embarrassing encounters and hilariously awkward TV moments.

Keeping Up With The Joneses attracted record audiences when it was aired by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation channel in 2011 and 2012, and became hugely popular in Barbados.

All 15 30-minute episodes will now air on The Africa Channel, bringing Caribbean flavour to UK screens.

Keeping Up With The Joneses will air daily from May 13 on The Africa Channel, Sky channel 209 and Virgin channel 828. Visit http://www.theafricachannel.co.uk

 

Damn! I want to see that! But I can’t because I don’t have Virgin or Sky!!! I hope the website will be good and working.

Advertisements

How did misogyny begin?

 I admit, this post is not going to give a definitive answer. It’s speculative and incomplete, and I invite others to share any knowledge they have. This is just what I know about it…
Misogyny is the denigration of the female sex, the more common form of sexism. It can be – and is – manifested as disrespect, sexual objectification, violence, discrimination and/ or general belief in females as inferior. The technical definition is hatred but honestly I never see anyone who actually hates females*, at least not around me. It’s been around a long time, longer than the current globalised racism (which began when Europeans decided it was their right to conquer and rule the world, just over 500 years ago). Probably the only form of oppression that’s lasted longer and had more devastating effects is classism. It takes so many different forms all over the world:
* BUT the level of disrespect some men have for women can be pretty much the same as hatred.
  • Female foetuses being aborted just because they’re female in present-day Bangladesh and pre-Islamic  Arabia (though in Arabia they did it by burying newborn girls alive; they didn’t have abortion back then),
  • Kidnapping young girls from their families, also in present-day Bangladesh and pre-Islamic Arabia to balance out the male:female ratio. However, while Bengalis do it to each other, ancient Arabs did it to European and African women,
  • Women being forbidden to vote due to a belief they’re too stupid to make important decisions for their country in C19 & C20 (19th & 20th century) England,
  • Women and girls being called bitches, hos, sluts, gashes, etc, in present-day America & England by gangstafied men. Gangstafied is my shorthand for people, in this case men (usually young) & boys, who emulate contemporary rappers/ hip-hop artists,
  • School-age girls being forbidden from education in Taliban-run Afghanistan,
  • Headscarves being forbidden from public wear by Muslim women in present-day France,
  • The witch hunts & trials of C15-C18 (15th to 18th century) Europe and America,
  • ‘Black’ and mulatta women being regularly impregnated via rape by ‘white’ slavers in TAST-era America,
  • Women being called non-humans and/ or property by ancient Greek & Roman philosophers,
  • Women in general receiving less pay for the same job and same level of competence as their male counterparts in present-day English and American work places,
…and many many others. I would also include the global porn & prostitution industry (regardless of whether the women join voluntarily or not) because it promotes the image of women as nothing but passive receptacles of man-meat. Or anything shaped like it. The ultimate form of sexual objectification.
I admit, misogyny has me stumped. Why did so many men all over the world decide that women are to get worse treatment than men? Many historical reasons have been proposed:

  • The Judeo-Christian belief in Satan tempting Eve who then tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree,
  • The Greek myth of Pandora and the jar (not box) she must never open – but she did,
  • The Jewish mythical figure Lilith (the true 1st woman) who refused to let Adam lie on top of her during intercourse,

and others. I reckon those are all parts of the equation, but these are all myths that try to justify mistreatment of women. In order to justify a position you must first conceive then accept it, and the thing that seems to be missed is how that position was conceived in the first place, and why it became so accepted pretty much all over the world.

Some say misogyny is rooted more in fear than actual hatred of women. How true that is I don’t know. It would make sense if there were some kind of historical context in which this claim could be placed, like maybe matriarchs having authority that some men decided they wanted and were willing to overthrow & suppress the matriarchs to do it.   Recently I read an interesting book called Vagina by Naomi Wolf, and she posits that the vagina is a direct link to the female brain. When a woman’s vagina is healthy she is more intelligent, caring, creative, happy, etc, and when it’s unhealthy she becomes the opposite. It can become ‘unhealthy’ via verbal assaults on her femaleness (eg. being called bitch, ho and the rest) both deliberate and accidental, feeling ashamed of herself, normal day-to-day stressors, or even simple medical issues that interfere with proper neural function (as happened to Naomi herself). This would explain why when men in history sought to break women’s spirits they tended to do it through sexual assault of some kind. And, unfortunately, it often works much better than any other kind of assault. Men and women alike seem to instinctively (not consciously for the most part) know of this vagina-brain link, but only now it is gaining scientific explanation and recognition.
Considering all the things men have done to women throughout history, we men have a lot to answer for. To be honest I understand why some of them don’t like us. I think if we really cared about women we’d stop doing whatever in the list we do.

The horse meat scandal!!! (originally posted 21/2/13)

Note: I originally posted this on 21/2/13 so the info may be out of date. Plus, people may have forgotten about it)

Findus Beef Lasagne.

Cow meat content: 0 – 40%

Horse meat content: 60 – 100%

Everyone in England has heard of the horse meat scandal by now. It’s been in the news and on the radios for weeks now. Turns out meat that we thought was pig or sheep or chicken is in many cases any combination of those plus another Brits don’t eat willingly: HORSE.

Apparently because our meat’s been coming from all over the continent (Romania, France, Germany, Ireland) it may take a while to determine exactly where the horse meat came from. The answer so far seems to be horses stolen from Irish farms and/ or horses from mainland Europe being ground down into filler for other meats, and in some cases deliberately mislabelled as other red meats. With the sheer depth of this scandal I’m surprised Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver haven’t said anything yet.

Or should that be, we’ve not heard them say anything yet?

Mr Oliver, what have you to say

about the horse meat scandal?

………..

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, what have you to say

about the horse meat scandal?

………..

I admit, it doesn’t affect me much because I don’t eat conventional meat (not halal). However, I’m disgusted all the same. Not at the local butchers or anyone here because you can’t really blame them; if they’re being given meat and told it’s beef or pork what reason would they have to doubt it? The blame lies with whoever the rogue criminals are, trying to keep their costs down by duping a whole string of countries. This does, nevertheless, give local farmers a very firm leg to stand on; at least they know what they’re selling because they’ve seen and slaughtered it themselves.

One thing I’m kind of confused about is this: is this scandal so shocking because of the deceit involved, or because eating horse is just “not British”? Apparently this is not the 1st such horse meat scandal in England/ Britain; since the 1930s it’s merely been taboo/ unfashionable (but never illegal unless not listed).

If anyone has any comments on this please reply below.

Regarding heart health & dietary fats

This is based on For the heart’s sake: eat a variety of fats and let the body choose, written by Dr Stephanie Seneff PhD. This can be found on pages 40 & 41 of this month’s issue of CAM: The magazine for complementary and alternative medicine professionals, a complementary & alternative medicine magazine to which I’ve been subscribed for 5 years. I used to do Nutritional Therapy at uni, and though I’m not a nutritional therapist I still maintain great interest in the topic. I have also added in other parts from my general knowledge. 

 

We in the West are given conflicting and even downright wrong information about fat. Just to be clear I mean dietary fat, not body fat. We’re given the message that although omega 3 fats are healthy (true), saturated fats are bad for us (untrue) because that’s what health experts, government guidelines, TV ads, etc. drum into our heads. Same with high fat intake in general & cholesterol. However, the research has never (and I mean NEVER) proven that. In fact, the research overwhelmingly suggests the opposite: high intake of general fats* and saturated ones especially protects against cardiovascular diseases.

 

* fresh naturally-occurring fats. Rancid fats, as well as hydrogenated & trans fats, absolutely are linked to cardiovascular diseases, infertility (at least in women), obesity, type 2 diabetes (the worse kind), liver dysfunction & even Alzheimer’s.

 

WARNING! If you find long wordy explanations death-inducingly boring skip the red writing. Don’t want to look like this guy!

 

 

Image

Fatty acids, omega 3, hydrogen… oh me poor ‘eart!

Fat molecules (fatty acids or lipids) are of different types: saturated & unsaturated, or as I call them satted & unsatted. The difference is in molecular structure – the satted ones contain no double bonds between their carbon atoms and are thus chemically stable. They’re called saturated because the chain of carbon atoms is bonded to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms it can hold. Unsatted ones contain double bonds. If there’s only 1 double bond the molecule is called monounsaturated (what I’ll call munsatted), and if more than 1 it’s called polyunsaturated (what I’ll call punsatted). The double bonds mean there’s still space for hydrogen atoms to bond, and the more unsatted the fat is the more vulnerable it is to going off (rancid). Pretty much all plant fats are rich in unsatted fats, hence why plant fats tend to be liquid except coconut & palm oil. Animal fats tend to be more satted fat-rich and thus more solid, except marine animals like fish & shellfish. Due to the rancidity risk, it’s better to have antioxidant-rich foods (such as fruit & vegetables) along with unsatted fats, although they have their own benefits in the body. 


(Note: satted, munsatted & punsatted are just names of groups of different fats. In each group are many many individual molecules with small but often important differences in atomic constituents, which I won’t list here for brevity’s sake. In case you were wondering, the omega 3s, 6s, 9s & others are all punsatted)


Trans fats are unsatted fats heat-treated to become saturated, to increase shelf life (ie. delay rancidity). The heat treatment is called hydrogenation because they’re adding hydrogen atoms to fill the double bonds. However, the hydrogenation also alters the natural arrangement of carbon atoms, turning the configuration from cis to trans, especially if the process is incomplete which it often is. This means the whole lipid is in a shape the body can’t recognise so it will try to get rid of it. If it can’t, though, it accumulates in the body as waste because it has no function. It’s useless! Our bodies have no requirement for trans fats but unfortunately they’ve become ridiculously common: in near enough all fried foods (because they only use unsatted-rich oils. Satted ones would be healthier but your typical local chicken & chips shops don’t care), processed foods in generalbiscuitscakespastries, that sort of thing. 

 

Structural difference between natural cis (left) & unnatural trans fats (right). The C=C’s in the middle symbolise the double bond, thus this is a munsatted lipid…

… and he’s not bothered

 We’re told by the authorities to reduce our total fat intake to 20% of our total calorie intake. This is misguided advice because:

 

1) most people wouldn’t be bothered to calculate their calorie intake,

 

 

Image

Calculate me own calorie intake?… oh me poor ‘eart!

2) calorie requirements change according to age, sex, health & activity level,

3) it’s not calorie amounts that matter but calorie sources. Calories from fats, carbohydrates & proteins have different metabolic effects,

4) low fat intake is shown to be correlated to increased risk of infertility, coronary artery disease & other cardiovascular diseases. Conversely, high fat (especially satted fat combined with fruit & vegetables) is linked to lessened risk of them. 

 

However, the really interesting part is what Dr Seneff proposes in her article. From research done on mother rats (not done by her), she proposes that the body should be fed more fat because the body can pick & choose which fats it needs for what. As long as it can be broken down for energy, the excess fats should be no problem. The body is much more sophisticated than we think.

 

Summary: fresh natural dietary fats are good for you, and percentage of total calorie intake is not very important. This low-fat fad is not just misguided but risky, so it’s far sounder to avoid trans & hydrogenated fats rather than fats in general. 

Creative Trailblazin’!!!

As a recovering creative person, someone in the process of accepting that my creativity is meaningful and good after all, I think it’s appropriate for me to highlight some key points that have helped me come to terms with my creativity (and overall mind) over the past few years. Lord only knows how many creatively minded people have been mentally scarred from being made to believe their talents are a waste of time. I’ve listed the individual/ private ones first because that’s where the external ones stem from, inner changes spawn outer changes (contrary to conventional thinking).

Yes, changes was deliberate. I trust you’ve already worked out why.

These are ones gleaned from personal experience, thus I expect you to translate them into a manner suitable to your experiences, and disregard what’s completely irrelevant to you.

 

Individual/ private tips: 

  • Fear is a totally useless emotion. And I mean all forms of it, from mere nervousness, anxiety &  timidity/ shyness to its more intense forms of panic, phobia & terror (caution & hesitation don’t necessarily count). Try to be fearless rather than just brave, and do what you really want. 
  • Look after yourself physically: work out*, eat healthily, drink water (at least 1.5 to 2 litres a day), get outdoors just for the sake of it, make yourself look and smell good (I like wearing ‘atr, non-alcoholic Islamic perfumes). I don’t personally do this but if you want to, even get a massage.

* however and wherever you want. Do it in a gym, at a park, in your back garden, in your house, whatever. Preferably vigorous and fast-paced, and with the foremost focus on enjoying yourself. Physical activity maintains mental & spiritual activity. 

  • Be more involved and focused on dunya (Arabic for world/ this life), and just accept that the environment is replete with blessings tailor-made for you. However, they won’t do anything for you if you just stand around scratching your ass expecting to not have to work for them. 
  • Snap decisions, gung-ho attitude (to a degree) & imprecision work just as well as, and in many cases better than, meticulous planning & pin-point perfectionism. 
  • Be mercilessly honest to yourself about what kind of person you really are, noticing all the details, and what you really want. Then relish the parts you like and do something about the parts you don’t like, either changing your behaviour or perceptions or both. 
  • Improvement = change. Those who refuse to change are those to refuse to improve, and those who refuse to improve are f***ed. Tolerate, accept, like, even yearn for change. 

 

Interpersonal/ public tips: 

  • Make some time & space in your daily life to practise & develop your creativity, and defend that time and space regardless of all other commitments. Only compromise once every 10 blue moons, if ever. 
  • Seek others’ help to make your stuff better. Whether it’s joining a writing club, poetry club, acting classes, singing class, doesn’t matter. Be around other people and learn from what they do. 
  • Have vague plans* to get your works out there in the world. I say vague to give you space to modify and expand on them as and when necessary. Be happy with your achievements so far and expect to do better & go further in the near future. 

* Yes that was deliberate too.

  • Be willing to take risks, for without risk change can’t happen. If you get it wrong, see exactly what you got wrong and try again.
  • When trying to get your work out there in the big wide world, to get it showcased/ published/ received in some manner by others, accept that no is AN answer. However, never let it be THE FINAL answer. Keep going to different people in different places, use alternatives, adapt your style of asking, until you get a yes. And maybe is an answer, if confronted with this take it! It’s a yes until proven otherwise.
  • There are people in the world who genuinely believe creativity is dangerous and will try to stop you practising it. It doesn’t matter if it’s because they were once creative and it didn’t pay off, if they just don’t like you or if they’re family and friends just looking out for you “because they care”, they are all the same. Defend yourself against their negativity, and when they attack you with it acknowledge your anger. Don’t let it die down before it’s ready, and practise something creative and enjoyable to you asap.

Inspirations for this post are Joseph McClendon III & Anthony Robbins (co-authors of Unlimited Power: A Black Choice, ISBN 9780684838724) and Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way, ISBN 9781585421466 & The Vein of Gold, ISBN 9780330352857).

This list is not exhaustive, I’m sure other creatives out there, professional, amateur and beginner alike, have other good tips they want to share.

quirky actor, script & story writer and poet spreading insights, old and new, from unconventional sources

Atheopaganism

An Earth-honoring religion rooted in science

science.casual

All science, mostly casual.

Humanist Association of Ghana

Challenging superstition in the pursuit of human dignity and compassion

rapgod

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: